SB 0635 Creates statutory warranties for homeowners and prevents home solicitors from engaging in certain practices
Sponsor:Wiggins Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number:2802L.01I Fiscal Note:2802-01
Committee:Insurance and Housing
Last Action:01/16/02 - Hearing Conducted S Insurance & Housing Committee Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
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Current Bill Summary

SB 635 - This act creates statutory warranties for home buyers and homeowners and also prevents home solicitors from engaging in certain deceptive practices.

HOME SOLICITATION - This act prohibits home solicitors from selling products financed by the consumer's home which would put the consumer in those types of situations. This act outlaws certain unfair or deceptive practices relating to home improvement loans to consumer. It would prohibit home solicitations where a home improvement loan is made encumbering the person's home to pay the loan and where the practice violates federal law. Violation of this act's provisions would constitute a Class A misdemeanor. This portion of the act is similar to HB 1144 (1999).

STATUTORY HOME WARRANTIES -This act mandates warranties to protect new home purchasers from losses caused by faulty installation, major construction defects, and noncompliance with building standards. The act also mandates similar warranties to protect homeowners from losses caused by defects caused by home improvement contractors.

NEW HOME WARRANTIES - There are three distinct new home warranties created by this act. The first covers the home against faulty workmanship and defective materials due to noncompliance with building standards for a three year period. The second warranty covers new homes against faulty installation of plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems for a five- year period. The third warranty covers the home against major construction defects (foundation) for a ten-year period. These warranties are extended to subsequent purchasers of the home.

HOME IMPROVEMENT WARRANTIES - The second statutory warranty protects consumers against home improvement contractors. Under this warranty, the home improvement contract warrants that the home improvements made will be free from defects caused by faulty workmanship and defective materials for a two-year period. The home improvement warranty also guarantees that the home improvement will be free from major construction defects for a ten-year period. Improvements involving plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems are guaranteed to be free from defects for a period of two-years.

If the house vendor or the home improvement contractor violates these implied warranties then the homeowner may bring a cause of action against the person for actual damages. The court shall also award the homeowner court costs and reasonable attorney fees. If the breach of the warranties were willful or deceitful, then the court may assess punitive damages.

The house vendor or home improvement contractor shall not be liable for damages caused by the homeowner, forces of nature or for normal wear and tear. The statutory warranties provided for by this act are in addition to any other remedies the homeowner may have.

This act is similar to SB 6 (2001).